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Life: A Metaphoric Symbol Of Its’ Self

  • Date Submitted: 05/13/2010 06:34 AM
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Brandy Pearce
Mr. Kowalchuk
English 20-1
18 February 2010
Life: A Metaphoric Symbol Of Its’ Self
      What makes us look for symbols in our lives?  We use symbols as metaphoric meanings for our lives, to maybe try and grasp a better understanding of it. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams has many symbols to represent specific characters. Such as the fire-escape embodies Tom’s desires, and how glass unicorn exemplifies Laura’s qualities. The Glass Menagerie is virtuous literary example on the use of symbols as metaphorical meanings.
      With the many symbols Tennessee Williams use in the glass menagerie, the fire-escape would be the most prominent.  The fire-escape represents the bridge between the illusionary world and reality for the Wingfields, but mostly Tom. Tom frequently goes out through the fire-escape, but when Laura goes to abscond, she trips on the steps. This incident is shown between Amanda and Laura in scene four:
      “I’m all right, I slipped but I’m all right”
      “If anyone breaks a leg on those fire-escape steps, the landlord ought to be sued for every cent he posses!”(Williams, 59). This shows how Laura made an attempt to cross the bridge but failed. But the constant coming and goings of Tom along the fire-escape steps insinuate how easily Tom can shift from reality to his illusionary world of adventure. The longer he stays out at the movies, symbolizes how he is getting more and more lost in his illusion. As Tom is addressing the audience, he states “But there was only hot swing music and liquor, dance halls, bars and movies and sex that hung in the gloom like a chandelier, and flooded the world with brief, deceptive rainbows. All the world was waiting for bombardments!” (Williams, 71). He is explaining how every one is having their own escapade, but soon must return to their bitter realties. And that he doesn’t want to come back to the fire escape to have to return to his. The symbol of the fire escape...


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